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And What I Can't Figure Out

Is how the rest of the world can be going about its business so nonchalantly. Like BT, I’ve got the peculiar kind of obsession with what’s happening that, I suppose, only someone with such deep personal attachments to the area can have. Folks around me make all the appropriate sympathetic noises when I bring it up, but it’s clear that they’re a little baffled by my level of panic.

Again, more below the fold.

And while I’m sensible enough to be able to hear Jake’s point about the relative death tolls of Katrina and last December’s tsunami, and would never think to compare them in that sense, there are some key data points left out of his analysis, points that make me want to scream.

A metropolitan area of nearly a million people — all now homeless.

The economic center of a significant region of the country — destroyed, if not permanently, at least for the foreseeable future.

Much as I enjoy playing the comparative economies of misery game in other, less tragic contexts, I don’t want to fall into that here. This is clearly no tsunami, as the numbers indicate, and it’s wrong to draw such comparisons. But I do think it’s fair to compare the public reactions to these two events. It makes me insanely angry, and deeply sad, how little the rest of the country seems to comprehend the enormity of what’s happening along the Gulf Coast right now.


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